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TRANSFER HOTLINE UPDATE: CELTIC MISS OUT TO ENGLISH CLUB – AGAIN, LENNON EYES SERB, NO-GO ALF, CLOUGH WANTS TO KEEP DONS TARGET, DUNDEE SWOOP FOR JOHNSON

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CELTIC look to have lost out in their pursuit of Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers with West Brom prepared to pay the £3million asking fee of their rival Championship side.

It will be the second time this month the Hoops have been beaten to a transfer deal by the Hawthorns outfit after missing out on Rekeem Harper.

The Scottish champions saw a bid of around £2million knocked back by the Bees and the Midlands side followed that up with a £2.2million offer for the 27-year-old club captain and that, too, met with the same fate.

With the fee rising to £3million, Leeds United dropped out of the race – as Scotzine reported earlier this week – to leave it a two-way tussle between Neil Lennon and Slaven Bilic.

It appears the Baggies gaffer, who took over in the summer, has now reached an agreement for the midfield man who started his career at West Brom, coming through the youth ranks at the club.

Earlier this month, the Celts failed to persuade 19-year-old middle-of-the-park performer Harper to join them after he had visited Parkhead as a guest of the club for the last league game of the season against Hearts in May.

Harper, who made 23 appearances for the Championship outfit in the last campaign, was poised to quit at the end of his contract. However, Bilic persuaded him to accept a new three-year deal and snub a move to the Scottish title kings.

NEIL LENNON watched Partizan Belgrade centre-half Strhinja Pavlovic in his side’s 1-0 win over Kilmarnock’s conquerors Connah’s Quay Nomads in their Europa League qualifying tie at Belle Vue, Rhyl last night.

The 18-year-old ball-playing stopper is under contract to the Serbian club until 2021 and was linked with a £4.5million move to Serie A outfit Juventus last season, but the deal failed to materialise.

The 6ft 4in versatile performer is a product of the Belgrade club’s youth system and only made his debut for the club in February this year and has emerged as a top talent in his country. He has played in the heart of Partizan’s defence and also turned out as a central defensive midfielder.

ALFREDO MORELOS will not be heading for Crystal Palace in a big-money deal from Rangers after the London side signed Jordan Ayew on a three-year contract from Swansea.

The 27-year-old striker spent last season on loan at the Selhurst Park outfit and manager Roy Hodgson has moved to make the deal permanent with a £2.5million offer.

Ayew’s arrival will end any potential swoop for the Ibrox side’s controversial Colombian hitman, who scored 30 goals last season, but hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons by being red-carded FIVE times.

Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard has admitted any club who want Morelos would have to stump up the cash and meet their valuation.

Bundesliga team Eintracht Frankfurt are still monitoring the attacker’s situation.

LIAM BOYCE is reportedly still on Aberdeen’s radar, but Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough has revealed the club “will do everything we can” to keep the squad intact.

He has seen Jamie Allen join Coventry City last month while Marcus Harness signed for Portsmouth last week – both for undisclosed fees.

Clough, who brought in Ryan Edwards from Hearts this week, is keen to keep record signing Liam Boyce, the former Ross County attacker who cost £500,000 when he joined two years ago.

The Northern Ireland international star, who is also interesting Preston, is seen as a key man in the Brewers’ plans and his manager responded when he was asked if there had been any more interest in Albion players.

Clough, speaking to Derbyshire Live, said: “Not at this stage, thank goodness! We’re not encouraging any either at this stage.

“I think there will be before the end of the window, because we’ve got some good players who performed so well last season.

“But we’ll do everything that we can do to hang on to them if possible.”

 

DUNDEE have signed Motherwell striker Danny Johnson on a two-year deal – and the move will end their interest in ex-Aberdeen hitman Stevie May, who has seen a return to St Johnstone collapse.

Dens boss James McPake has agreed a two-yead deal with the 26-year-old hitman after the clubs settled on an undisclosed transfer fee.

Johnson netted eight times for the Fir Park outfit last season, including a dramatic last-minute equaliser against Celtic in a 1-1 stalemate in December.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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